During an Oct. 11 meeting with a “tree preservative” expert, officials were told pentachlorophenol, the preservative used to treat the poles, has “no possible lingering toxic effects” and is carefully regulated by the EPA, according to the report.
Residents on Hope Street raised concern about the chemical in September, calling for a Department of Environmental Protection investigation after runoff from the poles apparently collected in soil at the bases, reportedly causing odors and what some alleged were health effects.
The utility has consistently maintained that the chemical has been safely used for decades by company employees, and is approved for use to preserve the poles from potentially dangerous degradation.
The controversy continued when soil from around the bases of the poles was removed later in the month, drawing suspicion from neighbors, while company officials stated they were responding directly to resident concerns.
Officials had lingering questions about the health effects of the substance after the meeting, according to the report.
The poles themselves have been the subject of controversy, as part of a utility project to upgrade its system with 65-foot poles running 69-kilovolt electric lines.
The project is the subject of a pending challenge by Ridgewood before the state board of public utilities. Work has been halted on the project in the village pending the decision from the state regulatory agency, which has yet to indicate a timeline for the ruling.